Mayor of Gaza-border town shares stories about missile attacks at CSL talk

On the  final swing of a  cross-Canada tour for the Jewish National Fund,  the Mayor of a small  Israeli town only one kilometer from the Gaza Strip spoke at the Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem Congregation in Côte Saint-Luc.


Sidney Benizri, myself, Anthony Housefather, Mayor Brownstein, Mayor Davidi,  David Birnbaum, Dida Berku, David Tordjman and  Dorel Abramovitz.


Alon Davidi, the Mayor of Sderot, has been travelling across the country with his Director of Resource Development  Dorel Abramovitz in order to share the town’s story, as well as to raise money for a Zoo-therapy centre for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)  victims. I was among the members of city council, along with Mayor Mitchell Brownstein,  D’Arcy McGee Liberal MNA  David Birnbaum, Mount Royal Liberal Member of Parliament Anthony Housefather, Israel Consul General David Levy and other dignitaries at a cocktail with the Mayor. This was followed by a talk open to the public.

Mayor Davidi and his wife Nurit  have seven children. Born in Be'er Sheva, he studied at the Benny Wolfson Yeshiva in the city and later at the Karnei Shomron hesder yeshiva. BA in Education and MA in Administration and Public Policy. He arrived in Sderot 22 years ago. He taught for two years at the local high school and managed the hesder yeshiva in Sderot, served as advisor to the Minister of Housing Effie Eitam and founded the "Headquarters for the Security of Sderot,"which worked hard to restore security to the residents of Sderot. He was elected to the city council in 2008 and since 2013 serves as mayor of Sderot.  

JNF  Montreal Executive Director Galith Levy presents a Habs shirt to the mayor.

Over the years Sderot has been pounded by missile attacks fired from Gaza. A town of  28,000 people against a Hamas-controlled terrorist territory which is home to 1.7  million. It is hard to believe that despite this danger and the necessity to consistently hide in bomb shelters, people keep flocking to live there.  The Mayor estimated  that by 2025 he expects  the population to swell past 50,000.

The incidents of PTSD in  Sderot are alarming – 80 percent of kids are victims. The Mayor spoke about one of his children and how the attacks  affected her. It was the animal assisted therapy program which finally broke her out of her shell. The new Resilience Centre they are building will cost $1.5 million. When they  arrived in Canada  they were $465,000 short of their goal. Donations via JNF Canada are being solicited.

“It’s very tough,”  the Mayor said. “Hamas wants to destroy not only Sderot, but all Israel.”

A captain in the IDF, the Mayor expressed the community’s gratitude to Israel’s military for protecting the city. “We continually visited soldiers and gave them food, clothing, everything,” he declared.

There is presently only one Reslience Centre in Sderot  and it does not have the capacity to serve all the children that need treatment. “It’s not enough, it’s never enough,” said Abramovitz. “The city of Sderot is working alongside JNF to create another Resilience Center that can serve the entire Gaza envelope."

Much of the development that has taken place in Sderot over the past 15 years has been in spite of the efforts of Hamas to tear down their city and force the people out. "I think the fact that our city is growing and thriving is a counter to their attacks,” said Abramovitz.

Bravo to JNF for organizing the tour. It is too bad more Montrealers did not attend this interesting talk.

Newly arrived Israeli Consul General given welcome to Côte Saint-Luc

It has only been two weeks since Ziv Nevo Kulman arrived in Montreal as Israel’s Consul General for Quebec and the Atlantic Provinces and he has already discovered what a special place Côte Saint-Luc is. He spent Yom Kippur at the home of a noted resident of our community, attending services at a few local shuls. On Monday, October 6 I invited him to City Hall to meet with Mayor Anthony Housefather and members of council.

20141006 18-54-10 Consull General Ziv Nevo Kulman visits city hall
The Consul General, attired in his new CSL cap, with the mayor and members of council.

The Consul General's predecessor, Joel Lion, actually rented a home in Côte Saint-Luc for three years. He and his wife have eight children, so that about explains it. Nevo Kulman does not have a family here with him and will reside near the Consulate in Westmount. "I feel among family here," he told us. "Although I will not be living in Côte Saint-Luc, you can be sure I will be coming here a lot."

Nevo Kulman visits city hall
The Consul General makes a point.

About 70 percent of Côte Saint-Luc's population of 33,000 is Jewish. We have a tremendous Israeli spirit (not to mention many native Israelis). On Yom Ha'atzmaut we fly Israeli flags along Cavendish Boulevard. Our sister city in Israel is Ashkelon, the site of shellings from Hamas in the recent war. We initiated a fundraising campaign to assist them. Last summer our mayor won seven medals at the Maccabiah Games in Tel Aviv.

The Consul General has chosen a truly unique way of introducing himself to the community via this slick YouTube video.



Watch the video. It is a fabulous introduction of the man.

I provided the Consul General with a brief tour of our public library and he was thoroughly impressed.



The now former CSL resident Joel Lion departs as Israel Consul General

Côte Saint-Luc had a distinct honour the past three years as charismatic Joel Lion, the Israeli Consul General for Quebec and the Maritimes, chose our community to reside. He and his wife Rivka rented a home in CSL, which became the official residence.

Here is my blog on The Suburban Newspaper website about Mr. Lion and his thoughts on his term here.


CSL Mayor Housefather wins seven medals at Maccabiah Games

Côte Saint-Luc Mayor Anthony Housefather (pictured poolside below) has been proudly representing Canada at the Maccabiah Games (a.k.a. the Jewish Olympics) in Israel. As a member of the Canadian master's swim team, he has won seven medals : five silvers in the 100 and 400  metre butterfly, the 50 metre backstroke, open water and  the medley relay .  He also captured a bronze in the 200 metre freestyle while being part of relay team which also captured a bronze.


“My times have been generally very good and very pleased,” said the mayor, who missed a gold by four tenths of a second in the 400 metre freestyle.

The final  tally from the pool is eight medals (five individual silvers, one individual bronze and two relay bronze. Clearly the mayor is Canada’s answer to Michael Phelps.  “Our team manager believes this was the most medals won by a Canadian in the games so far so very pleased,” the mayor added.

Here is some more Maccabiah Games news:

Gold in Metula: It was a golden day for Canadian Men's Hockey. The Men's Junior team won their gold medal match over USA 3-2, while the Canadian Men's Open Team won their gold medal game 7-1 over Team USA. Canadians Men's Open Captain Adam Henrich was named player of the tournament on the Mens Open side, while Canadian Junior goaltender Mark Michaels was named player of the tournament on the junior side.

Men's Volleyball: In the gold medal game in Modi'in, Canada fell to Israel in straight sets (3-0). The guys fought hard, but in the end the U-21 team (for the most part) from Israel was just too strong. The pro-Canadian crowd - our rugby, Jr. girls volleyball, Jr. boys baseball teams and hundreds of other Canadians were in attendance — definitely showed their support with chants of CA-NA-DA filling the gym throughout the match. The team's showing was the best finish by a Canadian men's volleyball team in Maccabiah Games history.

Master's Tennis: The wins kept coming for Canada on the tennis courts yesterday. In Masters Singles, Sherry Buller finished off her Russian opponent to set herself up with a Gold medal match on Sunday. Bram Faber dominated his match and will go for Gold on Sunday as well. In Mixed Doubles, Sherry Buller was at it again and did not disappoint. She and her partner Adam Fisher won 2 consecutive matches to bring home another Gold medal for Canada.

Silver on the Diamond. After an epic win against Israel in the semi-finals the day before, Canada's Junior Boys Baseball team came up short against USA in the gold medal game losing 9-0. The boys had a great tournament and the crowd at yesterday's game was definitely proud of their silver medal accomplishment.

Soccer Update: The Open Women's team rebounded from its tough loss on Thursday against Israel with a resounding 7-0 win over Germany. For complete soccer results, check out
Cricket: Canada matched up against Great Britain yesterday in their second last round robin game. They came out hitting well, but in the end, lost the contest 102-101 and Great Britain had 10 wickets in hand. Canada's last round robin game is on Sunday against India and the outcome will determine whether or not they will be playing for a medal on Monday.

Basketball Update: On Friday, many of our hoops team hit the court. Here are there results: U16 Boys beat Brazil 44-42; Master's Men's team fell to USA 80-75; and Open Men's team lost to Israel 110-75. Our Open Women's team will play for Bronze eitherSunday or Monday (yet to be determined).


CSL well represented at Israel Day Rally

More than 10,000 people, Jews and non-Jews alike, gathered in downtown Montreal on April 26 for the annual Yom Ha’atzmaut Solidarity Rally. Weather conditions were ideal as a march began from Phillips Square, leading to the large open space of Place du Canada. Dozens of school buses lined the side streets, having transported students and citizens from across the island.


The Jewish Unity Partnership, headed by Côte Saint-Luc businessman Amos Sochaczevski, once again spearheaded this lively event which included very few speeches but lots of singing and dancing.  Charismatic Joel Lion (right), the Consul General of Israel for Quebec and the Atlantic Provinces who lives in CSL, was the first to address the crowd.  Taking the microphone in hand he walked across the stage and in French urged everyone to cheer loudly for the State of Israel. He introduced a videotaped message from Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu, which was delivered on a crystal clear portable screen on wheels with perfect sound. The audience responded with great appreciation when he specifically recognized Montreal.

Senator Leo Housakos represented the government of Canada. Housakos lauded Israel as a democracy and an example for other countries in the Middle East to follow. He  acknowledged the attendance of  Thanos Kafopoulos, the Consul General of Greece in Quebec (below with Joel Lion), as well as leaders of the province’s Hellenic community.  He then directed the audience once more to the big screen for a well received message by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who remains very popular with the local Jewish community. Mount Royal Liberal MP and CSL resident  Irwin Cotler and Westmount-Ville Marie Liberal MP Marc Garneau were in attendance as well. The City of Montreal and a number of municipalities were represented. From CSL city council, myself, MItchell Brownstein, Dida Berku, Glenn J. Nashen  and Sam Goldbloom were on hand.


Music was provided by local artists, along with a group from Kiryat Atta in Israel.   

The same day as the rally, Consul General Lion published an opinion piece in the The Montreal Gazette.  “Think ‘Israel’ and what comes to mind?” he asked in the opening sentence. “It's a good question to ask on Israel's Independence Day, when the Israel Day rally takes place in Montreal. The first thing most readers will think of is my country's decades-long conflict with the Palestinians. To others, the mere mention of Israel conjures up images of a mystic land promised to the Israelites by none other than God himself. And some see Israel as an exotic land somewhere far, far away - a place where nomadic tribes shepherd their camels through dunes as far as the eye can see.

“When I think of Israel, I see my home, a land that is as vibrant and diverse as it is creative. Every time I land at Ben Gurion Airport after a long sojourn abroad, I am amazed at how much Israel has changed in my own lifetime. From our humble rebirth in the tragic aftermath of the Holocaust, we have, in just 64 years, evolved from a largely agrarian nation of the Third World to a developed nation. Whereas Israel was once the land of Jaffa oranges and raisins, today it is - as one New York Times bestseller coined it - the ‘Start-up Nation’ the land of Intel microchips and nanotechnology.”

De Sousa, Jacob, Joe Zagury115

In just over six decades, Lion noted that the Israeli population has grown more than nine fold, from roughly 800,000 in 1948 to just over 7.8 million today. “With immigrants and refugees from 120 countries and an Arab minority numbering about 20 per cent of the population, Israelis are proud to celebrate our different ethnic backgrounds, languages and traditions,” he stated.  “We are equally proud of our country's thriving democracy and robust society.”

Lion concluded by noting how Israel shares the Palestinian people's dream of statehood.”That dream, however, must be based on the principle of two states for two peoples - one state for the Jewish people and another for the Palestinian people - and not of one state on the ashes of the other,” he said “The first step is to sit down face to face. If Israel has accomplished so much in 64 years without peace, just think what Israelis, Palestinians and the region as a whole could accomplish with it.”

I spoke with many other CSL residents at the event. This included the great Harry Kloda, who provided the sound  and stage; CSL Senior Men's Club president Sidney Margles and newly appointed Canadian Institute for Jewish Research senior executive Jacob Kincler, pictured above with St. Laurent Borough Mayor Alan DeSousa and photographer Joseph Zagury. Below, there I am in the crowd with Hampstead Councillor Harvey "Safer With " Schaffer and Cotler. Thanks to Dida Berku for that photo.


Bravo to Amos Sochaczevski and his team. 

A "BeautiFeel" visit to Côte Saint-Luc

Last week my  colleague on Côte Saint-Luc City Council, Dida Berku advised me that her husband Jacob Kincler would be picking up a special friend from Israel at the airport and bringing him over  to City Hall to meet with elected officials. This "friend" was Ami  Bar Nahor, the owner of BeautiFeel Shoes in Israel.

Ami Bar Nahorcouncil1

Today,  the BeautiFeel brand enjoys recognition through more than 1,000 high-end stores in  17 countries, including Israel, Canada, the USA, Australia and New Zealand. Bar Nahor was in Montreal  for  three days to meet with his distributors, Irving Brownstein and Sylvain Valois, spend time with  his close friends  Jacob   and Dida   and most importantly visit the shoe store which has given his shoes worldwide attention for all of the wrong reasons. He is pictured above with some members of council and Jacob Kincler.

Last fall Kincler and his wife Berku were on holiday in France when they received an email  from BarNahor inquiring about a campaign back in Montreal to boycott the purchasing of his shoes. Kincler, a native Israeli who actually met Bar Nahor by chance in 2008 while vacationing in  Italy, made some calls and found out that such a campaign had indeed been launched. Boutique Le Marcheur, a shoe store in the heavily French speaking  Mile End District, had become the target of protesters from  a group called PAJU (Palestinian and Jewish Unity) in condemning the fact that it carried  BeautiFeel shoes. Amir Khadir, the rebel anti-Israel Member of the National Assembly for the separatist Québec Solidaire, through oil on the fire by joining in the call for a boycott.  The protesters, carrying placards, began marching in front of the store each Saturday. Yves Archambault,  the owner of the store, refused to back down. Given the fact BeautiFeel  accounted for no more than three percent of his inventory that would  have been the easy approach.

Kincler was incensed. So were other members of the Jewish community, notably activist Sharon Freedman, Suburban Newspaper editor Beryl Wajsman and a list of personalities which grew each week.  Before long there were counter protests, with high ranking elected officials from all  political stripes stepping forward in  support of Archambault. Following many months of this activity and condemnations continuing against the protesters, Khadir finally backed off while PAJU turned its attention across the street to the Naot shoe store, which sells shoes almost exclusively made in Israel.

Bar  Nohar paid a visit to Boutique Le Marcheur last week.  Regrettably, Archambault and his wife were on vacation so their face to face meeting will have to wait for another day. However, as he discussed the boycott campaign with me, Ben Nahor grew angry. “What these people did was completely wrong,” he said. “They took a store hostage for no good reason. There should be a law against such activity. This is not the first Israeli product to be the target of a boycott and it won’t be the last. I have lived in Israel all of my life. I know the kind of tricks these people try to  play. It is disgusting.”

Last week Bar Nahor also walked across the street to Naot to express solidarity with them. While it has not received a lot of publicity, Kincler said that some PAJU protesters continue to march each Saturday in  front of Naot and calling on people to boycott. “We won the round with Le Marcheur and now we have to do the same thing for Naot,” he said. “I think that this  is already happening. They are down to about four or five protesters each Saturday while we have 25. Ami is right. There should be a law on the books that states stores must be allowed to conduct business in peace and harmony.”

Bar Nahor met with Mayor Anthony Housefather and members of council. Driven by the profound conviction that "women deserve shoes that feel as beautiful as they look, for any time of the day, in any season, or for any occasion,”  Bar Nahor established BeautiFeel  in 1989.  He bought a small factory, on the outskirts of Tel Aviv. Accompanied by only five employees  he kicked off the development and production of this innovative idea, giving birth to a whole new concept in the comfort shoe line – "Dressy Comfort Footwear.”

This is one smart guy!



Our sympathies to Israel's Consul General

When Yoram Elron was  first posted  to Montreal as Israel's Consul General I made a point of arranging a meeting to interview him for the Jewish Tribune Newspaper.  I was immediately captivated by his wonderful personality and warmth. But there was some sadness as he told me about his eldest son, Roee Gal Elron, and his battle with cancer. One of the first things the Consul General and his wife Vered did when they arrived here was to make sure there son was well taken care of at the Montreal Children's Hospital.

From time to time I called the Consul General to see how his son was doing. Sadly, last weekend, Roee Gal lost his battle with the insidious disease. He was only 17. Besides his parents, he leaves his siblings Dori and Inbar.  The family has flown to Israel for the burial. My deepest sympathies are extended.



Does the Jewish community fear Amir Khadir?

 The following is a column I filed for  the Jewish  Tribune Newspaper last week. It prompted a call from at least one high ranking Liberal who wanted to let me know that Premier Jean Charest is doing a stellar job and will certainly be  re-elected. I beg to differ. However, there are a few wild cards: PQ leader Pauline Marois is not very popular; the ADQ is gaining steam; former cabinet minister Francois Legault might start his own party or join the ADQ and most worrisome, Amir Khadir is the most popular politician in Quebec.  Charest could conceivably come up the middle with a minority government.

Here is the column.

In about two years time Quebecers will go the polls  and unless Premier Jean Charest resigns and his party finds a new charismatic leader, the Liberals will likely be booted out of office. For federalists, the best case scenario would be a minority government.  That could be a frightening prospect for the Jewish community here given  the presence of  one  Amir Khadir.

Khadir is the sole member of the hardline separatist Québec solidaire, representing the swing  Montreal riding of Mercier. A physician specializing in microbiology and infectious diseases, there is no questioning his educational credentials. According to a recent Léger Marketing poll, he is in fact the most popular politician in Quebec. At 45 percent, he has the highest approval rating.
Charest, now in his third mandate, has simply lost the trust and respect of Quebecers. His party has been mired in scandal and he just does not seem to read the signs that it is time to go. He benefits from the fact that Parti Québecois  leader Pauline Marois is not highly  regarded by the electorate either.  This is where the potential minority government comes in.  The Action démocratique du Québec, considered dead after the last election, are showing signs of life under new leader  Gerard Deltell. Former PQ cabinet minister  Francois Légault is making waves about launching a new party minus the sovereignty plank. Then there is Eric Duhaime, founder of the Réseau Liberté-Québec (RLQ) — the Quebec Freedom Network. While he and five other founders insist they’re not building a new party,  rather promoting values they believe  are sorely under-represented here, you could see them on the  ballot as well.


This brings us back to Khadir and why he is such a threat to the Jewish community. He has been openly critical of Israel, marching in protests against the Jewish State and making troubling statements. But most disturbing is his high profile role in the despicable campaign to boycott a Montreal shoe store in his riding which sells shoes made in Israel.


Since last fall Khadir  has been taking part in demonstrations  organized by Palestinian and Jewish Unity (PAJU), a Montreal-based human rights group that advocates for the right of Palestinians to live in safety. Khadir has been strongly condemned by all facets of the political community. He was recently a guest on a highly rated French-language Montreal radio show where the host, Benoît  Dutrisac, raked him over the coals.  “Stop attacking a small boutique that is selling Israeli shoes!” he lectured Khadir.


While the protests may have backfired, bringing a lot of new customers to the store and politicians from different stripes, what’s troubling is that Quebecers still seem to consider him their most popular elected official. What happens if his party wins a number of seats in the next election and he holds the balance of power in a PQ government?   With a potential slew of parties  in the next race, this is a distinct possibility.


Perhaps the Liberals should draft Yves Archambault, the owner of the show store called Le Marcheur, to run against Khadir in the next election. This would  make a statement. The Israeli –made shoe brand,   Beautifeel shoes,  accounts for only two percent of his stock. It would have been very easy for him to just drop them from his inventory. He did not.


"I was sickened to see him (Khadir) distributing flyers and stopping people who were coming into the store to tell them they shouldn't support a business that sells Israeli products," Archambault said. "In Quebec we have free enterprise, and as long as it is legal, nobody has the right to tell me what I can and cannot sell in my store.”


In recent weeks three federal Liberal Members of  Parliament, Marlene Jennings and Marc Garneau   of the Liberals and Steven Blaney of the Tories and three  Members of the Quebec National Assembly, Deltell and  François Bonnardel from the ADQ, Lawrence Bergman of the  Liberals and Martin Lemay of the PQ, have shown up to demonstrate their solidarity with Archambault.


The PQ’s Marois and Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe have both released statements in support of Archambault.


In his column in Le Journal de Montreal, Duhaime called out Khadir for his behavior. « For Amir Khadir,  he should do nothing less than apologize to Mr. Archambault and to all Quebecers,” he wrote. “To attack an honest businessman is totally unacceptable. Quebecers have the right to expect more from their most popular politician.”


Last week  the leader of Québec solidaire, François David, declared that Khadir’s participation in the shoe store protests was an error and that he would not continue such an activity. However, she took the opportunity to reaffirm her party’s support for the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaign against Israel.

If Marois gets elected in two years and needs support to stay in office, let us hope she does not turn to Khadir.

CIJR fulfills important role in the community

I remember well the humble beginnings of the  Canadian Institute for Jewish Research (CIJR)  more than two decades ago.  Professor Frederick Krantz founded the organization at the time of Israel’s first intifada and placed a lot of energy on Canadian university campuses.FredKrantz

The CIJR began informally as a group of pro-Israel academics Krantz (right) got together in the winter of 1987, most of whom had already started to respond to the sudden negative media associated with the beginnings of the first  intifada  against Israel.  As CIJR reps were invited to speak at shuls and organizations, and spontaneous financial contributions began to be made,  the need for some support, secretarial and legal, access to a photocopier and a way impersonally to deposit donations and such came about.  Krantz turned to the various Jewish organizations and was frankly  stunned when they refused any help.

 Why this negativity was the case, given the situation being faced back then, remains a mystery to this day, but at a certain point, the CIJR had  to either cease functioning, or create its own independent organization.  It took the latter route, and the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, a non-profit educational foundation, was created, receiving government approval in late 1988.

The Sunday, August 15,  the CIJR will hold its an international conference in the morning at Congregation Shaar Hashomayim in Westmount, followed by its 22nd anniversary gala in the evening at the same locale. “Israel, the U.S., and the Iranian Nuclear Threat”  is the theme for the business portion of the day. It  will bring together outstanding academics, specialists, jouralists, students, organization heads, and prominent members of Montreal’s business and Jewish communities. The high end conference is testament to how the CIJR has thrived based on its independence.

“The general, as well as Jewish, public must be awakened to the profound threat not only to Israel, but also to the Middle East, Europe and the world, represented by the fanatical, genocidal Iranian regime’s imminent possession of a nuclear weapon”, explains Prof. Krantz.  

The 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. conference has three goals: (1) to analyze American, Israeli and UN policy in relation to the Iranian threat; (2) to examine strategies, political and military, for countering it; and (3) to make the public and politicians aware of the serious implications of an Iranian nuclear weapon.


The conference will be opened by  Krantz. Scholars presenting formal papers at the two morning Panels include Clifford May (President, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies), John Thompson (Mackenzie Institute) and Prof. Asaf Romirowsky (Middle East Forum); Panel Chairs are Profs. Harold Waller (McGill U.) and Norrin Ripsman (Concordia U.).The evening gala will be opened by Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center  and a  keynote address delivered by Bret Stephens, foreign affairs editor for the  Wall Street Journal. The dinner  will also feature several CIJR awards, and a special musical performance by the young Quebec singing sensation, Kathleen Reiter.    One late addition to the evening Gala: Andrew Roberts, the outstanding British historian and co-founder (with Spain’s former PM Jose Maria Aznar) of The Committee in Defense of Israel (his wonderful article, “What the World Owes the Jewish People”, appeared in last week’s National Post).

Here is something new from Krantz: CIJR is moving into using , beginning with students in their unique Student Israel Advocacy Program, its unique academic resources  - outstanding Academic Fellows drawn from Montreal, Canada, the |US and Israel-  to offer for-credit multidisciplinary courses. These will be in the fields of Jewish and Zionist history, the so-called ‘Arab-Israel Conflict,’ which should more properly be called the ‘Arab Conflict, maintained by the Muslim states, to destroy Jewish Israel,’  the diplomatic history and politics of the Middle East, and the history, politics and culture of modern Jewish Israel.


“The need for this international conference—to alert the community to growing regional and world peril in face of an Iranian nuclear weapon, and to gauge concrete steps available to avert it—speaks for itself,” said Krantz.

Registration  the conference is only $40  and free for student and must be paid  in advance. Persons attending the evening gala, at $500 per person (partially tax-receiptable), can attend the conference gratis.

The CIJR is indeed unique in the community. In the fall of 2000,  its daily Isranet briefing  e-mail service was launched  to counter anti-Israel propaganda, and to keep the public and subscribers  informed of daily issues affecting the Jewish people. Each daily briefing consists of multiple opinion pieces, articles, or documents, on current issues. A weekly French-language Communiqué Isranet bulletin is also available.  The CIJR’s  ISRAFAX quarterly magazine is distributed across Canada and internationally. The editors of ISRAFAX include key articles from major international newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals, official documents, and websites with varying perspectives on important issues. The Israeli and Arab media are also scanned for timely reports, opinion, and documents. ISRAFAX, as the name implies, was originally sent out by fax machines two decades ago.  The CIJR also supports the student-written Dateline: Middle East magazine, distributed on campuses across Canada. It also offers several summer and academic-year student internships. 

For more information contact  Katrin Kraizgur,  at (514) 486-5544/


Ilan Ramon Memorial

Late last fall I presided  over a brief ceremony to inaugurate a plaque  on Ilan Ramon Crescent about the man we named the street after. The late Ilan Ramon was an Israeli astronaut who tragically perished with his crew seven years ago. Now that the nice weather is upon us more people are taking walks and admiring this attractive plaque, which is on a stand. Today, as my family and I took a walk,  we noticed that someone had left a wreath there. What a nice initiative!

Wreath Ilan Ramon